How to Create a Contract

How to Create a Contract (with a Template)

by Nicholas Tart on June 26, 2009 · 8 comments

A blog is a place where you can express your opinions and share your knowledge, but it is also a great way to showcase your skills. From what I’ve found, it’s fairly common for start-up bloggers to receive requests for freelance work because of their blog.

However, prior to performing freelance work, it’s essential to set up a contract with your client. Here I have described how to create that contract.

Last week I met with a client who had learned about my web development projects by talking to a member of my Board of Advisors for JuniorBiz. I met with the client and he recruited me to develop a website for him over the course of the next couple weeks. In the interest of confidentiality I am not going to release his name or any other descriptions about the job other than it is related to web development.

After creating a contract for the job, I decided that a template for contracts would be a very useful tool to help guide young entrepreneurs through the sticky process of ensuring that a business deal is fair and clear for both parties. The resulting contract template is below.

What is a Contract and Why is it Important?

A contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more parties with a detailed description of tasks/products and deadlines one party will fulfill in exchange for a specific compensation. Contracts are important for a number of reasons:

  1. They establish the legal guidelines for the job. Meaning, legal action can be taken if either side fails to uphold their end of the agreement.
  2. They provide both parties with clear and precise expectations of the individual obligations.
  3. They effectively create a project charter with the tasks you need to complete and when you need to complete them by.

Components of a Contract

When writing your contract it’s important to include several aspects of the job. Another thing to consider when forming a contract is to keep the wording as simple and straightforward as possible. The components of a formal contract are:

  1. A detailed description the type of work to be done.
  2. A specific price and payment arrangement.
  3. A clearly worded plan that describe individual tasks and deliverables.
  4. A schedule with dates and deadlines.
  5. An agreement as to who owns the rights to what you are creating (i.e. the website files).
  6. Terms to get out of the contract.
  7. Dated signatures from all parties.

A Sample Contract and Template

After determining everything that needed to go into a contract, I created it from scratch. This was a lot of work and took me almost three hours. So I am going to post a PDF file that you can use as a template for your contracts and save you a lot of time.

DISCLAIMER: Use this template at your own discretion. I am merely providing suggestions for what you should include in your contract and how it should be formatted. If you want to ensure the legalities of your contract, please pursue legal counsel.

Here is the contract template:

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Sample Contract

(It will open in a new window so you can keeping reading while referring to the contract.)

I’d be more than happy to send you this file as a word document if you want to create your own contract. Simply leave your name and contact info in the comments section below and I should get it to you in, at most, a couple days. Thanks!

Closing Remarks

All start-up companies can benefit from having a blog. Scratch that, all companies can benefit from having a blog. Originally, I didn’t consider freelance work (i.e. web development) as a source of revenue for my business. I’m still in the very early stages of development and engaging in freelance jobs is a great way to monetize a new business, especially a web-based business like JuniorBiz, LLC.

The client I mentioned in this post has told me that if I do a good job, he would be happy to refer me to other people in need of web development and other services. Other people will likely do the same.

You will have a contract between you and your client, but you should always try and go above and beyond the obligations of the contract to encourage your client to speak highly of your services.

Remember to leave your contact info below if you would like me to send you the contract template as a word document. Also, if you found this post helpful, you should Get JuniorBiz by Email. Thanks for reading.

P.S. Let me know what you think of my contract template and if I should add anything.

Photo by: churl

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Liam June 28, 2009 at 9:59 pm

There is one problem, for me, with binding my clients to a contract with a signature. 95% of my customers are teens and children, which means without parent signature my contract is worth nothing more than the paper it is printed on. Getting parents to sign the contract is a hassle. I own a custom lacrosse business where I dye lacrosse stick heads and sell custom gear. I built own business around the idea that I was a kid trying to help other players improve their game (while making money of course). This builds trust and helps me, but I have noticed that having parents sign the contract breaks that trust.

HOW do I make a legitimate contract without losing the trust of my clients?

Thank you,
Liam- CEO and Founder of L.A.X. Dyeing and Design

Reply

2 Nick Tart June 28, 2009 at 10:26 pm

Hi Liam! Thanks for the question.

I’m not sure if I completely understand. Is it:

Your clients would prefer if the contract was solely between you and them. They don’t like to have their parents involved. When you ask for a parent signature, they feel that you don’t trust them. Is this correct?

If this is the case, you have 2 options:

1. Remain legitimate by simply and openly explaining to them that the contract is meaningless without a parent signature. It’s not a matter of trust as much as it is a legal issue. They might even find this information interesting.

2. Only require them to sign the contract knowing that it’s not legitimate. I don’t recommend this option, but if a client breaks the contract, you’re only out 20-30 bucks. If you think you can acquire significantly more customers by not requiring a parent signature, then it might be worth the risk.

By the way, you have a cool idea that fits in a great niche!

Please let me know if this doesn’t answer your question. I’d be more than happy to try again.

Reply

3 gilbert rodriguez June 8, 2011 at 4:12 pm

please send me this sample in a word document

Reply

4 Oisín Leon O'Keeffe January 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm

can 11 year olds use this?
Say I wanted to get my brother (8 years) to do some job in return for something like cutting the grass.

Reply

5 Amerald April 12, 2012 at 2:21 pm

May you please send this contract to me in a word document? I’d appreciate it greatly! I need it for a little business arrangement I have with my mother:)

Reply

6 jane quin November 13, 2012 at 12:25 pm

please could you send me details of how to contruct a contract manu thanks

Reply

7 Florencia February 25, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Good afternoon! I was wondering if you could send me the contract sample as a word document. I need some guidance to writing a contract. Thanks in advance! Florencia.

Reply

8 Sandra March 4, 2013 at 4:46 am

Could you send me this contract?thank you
I need it for designing interior

Reply

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